Beyond the initial joy that is the moment of birth, all parents look forward to watching their little ones grow up. Sometimes, small children start to miss important milestones. Every child develops at their own pace, of course, but when certain milestones fall far enough behind, that's a red flag that may indicate a long-term birth injury.
Here are some key developmental milestones:
One month to six weeks after birth
- Focus on objects 8-12 inches away
- Follow movements
- Responsive to bright colors or large pictures
- Focus on faces
- Mimic sounds
- Look in the direction sounds are coming from
- Close hands around objects
Six to seven months
- Focus on objects up to three feet away
- Hold head up when sitting or lying face-down
- Roll over on both sides unassisted
- Affectionate with others
- Struggle to grab objects that are out of reach
- Transfer objects from one hand to the other
- Start to develop depth perception
- Learning to talk
- Learning to walk, crawling or "cruising"
- Voluntarily let go of objects
- Walking unassisted
- Talking in simple sentences
For more information on developmental milestones, see the CDC's milestone tracker.
Again, every child's development is different, and there is a normal range of time for any given milestone. When your child's development falls outside that range, or if he or she appears to be falling behind other children who are the same age, that could be a warning sign of a birth injury.
That doesn't mean you should panic. Rather, talk to your child's pediatrician about any developmental concerns you may have. Have your child evaluated and screened. If you have any reason to suspect negligence, get a free consultation with an attorney in your jurisdiction.